I’m pleased to let you know that the new Children’s Assessment Unit at Dewsbury and District Hospital will open on Monday 11 August. The eight bed unit is next door to A&E, so that senior paediatricians will be on hand to assess and treat children. This means less time waiting and less chance of them having to be admitted overnight.
More than 80 per cent of the children who would otherwise have been admitted to the paediatric ward at Dewsbury will be seen in the new unit. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week until community services are fully developed to support children and young people outside of hospital.
Families in Dewsbury will not need to do anything different as a result of this change. They should still visit their GP practice, call 111 if they need help quickly but it is not a medical emergency, call 999 in an emergency or attend Dewsbury A&E as normal.
Ward 7 will remain open primarily as an outpatient and day care unit but it will retain 10 beds for children needing an inpatient admission.
We made a commitment that no beds would be taken out of Dewsbury hospital until community services were developed sufficiently to manage patients at home more effectively. I am pleased to see that the hospital trust has honoured this commitment.
As a local GP, I am confident that this model of care is the right one for patients. Not only will it provide better hospital support for those who need it, but it will ensure that wherever possible, healthcare is provided at or close to people’s home.